Lance Moore apparently caused a stir down south with his comments that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a stronger arm than Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
Apparently, Saints fans took that as a slight following Moore’s nine seasons with the team, a span in which he caught 346 passes in 101 games and played on one Super Bowl winner.
Here’s what Moore had to say on the adjustment period, during his first session with Steelers reporters this week:
“It can [take some time] because they are a different style of quarterback. I would say Ben has a little bit stronger of an arm, maybe a lot stronger arm. Just from the couple of days with him here, that’s something that kind of jumps out at me. If you are kind of lazy with your eyes – I call it lazy with your eyes – the ball will zoom right past you. That’s something that I will have to adjust to.
“I feel like the quarterback should never really have to adjust to the receiver. The receiver should make those adjustments and make things right with the quarterback, because they are the ones pulling the trigger. If they are waiting on you, it’s going to be tough for things to get done. I have been around long enough. I played with, at least in practice, a bunch of different quarterbacks that have different styles. Like I said earlier, the more work that we put in together, the more smooth that will be.”
Moore wasn’t being critical of Brees — and why should he be? — but rather was explaining the differences in the throwing styles of the two QBs. No doubt Emmanuel Sanders is making a similar adjustment in Denver from catching Roethlisberger’s passes to catching those of Peyton Manning.
Moore received some criticism from Saints fans following his remarks, which prompted him to post this response on Twitter:
“Everybody down south is mad now? Never said I disliked Drew (sp) or am not thankful for my time w him. Wouldn’t be where I am w/out him. Chill out.”
Moore is trying to bounce back from an off-season at age 30 in 2013, when a broken hand helped limit him to 37 catches, a 12.4 average and two touchdowns. He was coming off his first 1,000-yard season in 2012 (65 catches, 6 TDs, 1,041 yards).
He explained it was somewhat traumatic to be let go by a team after so long — it was a salary cap move — but was glad the Steelers picked him up within days.
“I actually heard that I was being released or shopped on Twitter. I was at a workout and people were text messaging me like crazy. So immediately, I texted Coach Sean Payton and my wide receivers coach about what was going on. Literally about 36 hours later I got released. It wasn’t necessarily something that I didn’t see as a possibility after coming off of last season. I didn’t have the greatest of years. They kind of owed me a little bit of money. I understood that it was probably a possibility that I wasn’t going to make that money there. That’s how it goes in this game. A lot of teams are trying to get younger and cheaper at the same time,” Moore said.
” And I was kind of one of those casualties of that. And from that point, I got released on a Friday, I believe. Sunday afternoon, I left and visited New England. It was a quick visit. I was in and out. From there, they kind of just told me we will wait and see what happens with Julian Edelman and we will go from there. I didn’t hear back from them, obviously, after Edelman signed. I was kind of in limbo, just training and waiting. And out of the blue, my agent called me and said the Steelers wanted to bring me in on a visit.
“I came up here and had a great time. I met all the coaches. It felt like it was right. Coming from a place where things are run the right way, ownership is great and you win a lot of games, obviously won a world championship, you want that feeling again. You want to be able to get somewhere where you have an opportunity to win. I’ve been in the game 10 years now. I am not here just to try to collect a check. I want to win another championship. I feel like this is a great place for me.”
Moore, by the way, was impressed by the display of six Lombardi Trophies at the Steelers’ South Side offices, and told coach Mike Tomlin it helped influence him to sign with Pittsburgh.